FAQ Regarding Family Member Access to Medical Records

Can I have access to my student’s medical records?

As part of the development process of college students, we support students to gain the independent skills to be managers of their health care decisions. Research shows that self-efficacy, the sense that individuals have control over their situation and their choices, enables students to develop more confidence in help-seeking behaviors. We strongly recommend letting your student make a choice on if, or when, to share their health information with you. We strongly advise against family members having blanket access to a college student’s complete health record, which may over time contain information of a sensitive and private nature that is discussed confidentially with a health provider. Individual health conditions may be discussed with a patient’s family member, on a case-by-case basis, at the request of the patient.

If I have a power of attorney, can I have access to making health decision for my student?

Advanced directives and medical power of attorney applies when the patient is incapacitated and is not able to make health decisions on their own behalf. This does not provide access to medical records for non-incapacitated patients. In California and most states, the default surrogate health decision maker for adults who cannot make their own health decisions is the next of kin, in the following order: spouse/domestic partner, adult child, parent, sibling.

Does this mean the university will not contact me if my student has a serious illness or accident?

All patients can list an emergency contact in their profile in MySHR, the USC Student Health patient portal; the emergency contact will be called by phone should a health emergency arise.

If a parent has a concern about their student, they can always use Trojans Care for Trojans, (TC4T) in the Office of Campus Support and Intervention to express concern and work with University officials to arrange for contact with the student.